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Horn-Corcoran averages 284K viewers on ESPN

Terence Crawford

By Jim Dower: WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn’s successful title defense against challenger Gary Corcoran on December 13 brought in excellent viewing numbers on ESPN despite the early morning hours the fight was televised on in the U.S. Horn vs. Corcoran averaged 284,000 viewers on ESPN in the U.S, according to Dan Rafael.

The Horn-Cororan fight was televised at 6:30 a.m. ET/3:30 a.m. PT. Those were not ideal hours to televise a fight in the U.S, but the fight still brought in respectable numbers.

The Horn-Corcoran replay brought in an average of 242K viewers on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. ET. By that time, the results of the fight were already known to the hardcore boxing fans, so it’s not surprising that the fight didn’t attract bigger numbers in that time slot.

Horn-Corcoran took place at the Convention & Exhibition Centre in Brisbane, Australia. This was a voluntary defense for the 29-year-old Horn, who captured the WBO 147 lb. title with a 12 round unanimous decision win over Manny Pacquiao on July 2 in Brisbane.

On December 13, Horn stopped Corcoran in the 11th round to retain his WBO 147 lb. title. Corcoran gave a great effort, but he was hindered by a cut that he suffered over his left eye. The cut eventually led to the referee stopping the contest in the 11th. It was a very entertaining fight from start to finish.

Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) is expected to defend his title next against his #1 WBO mandatory challenger Terence Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) next in early 2018. Crawford vacated his 4 light welterweight titles, and he’s moved up to 147 to challenge Horn. Crawford hopes to unify the welterweight division in the same way he did at light welterweight.

Horn’s promoter is interested in getting him the biggest payday possible for his next fight. He feels that the fight with Crawford is worth more than $1 million. Horn might take a fight with Anthony Mundine next for $2 million of he can’t get a bigger payday fighting Crawford. The 42-year-old Mundine is from Australia, and he’s a former super middleweight champion.

If the Horn-Crawford fight does take place in 2018, it’ll be for big enough money to make Horn and his management happy. Horn, 29, is a huge draw in Australia. He doesn’t need Crawford to get nice paydays in that country. Horn would almost be better off vacating the WBO title letting it be stripped from him rather than taking on Crawford and suffering a loss. If the money was huge for a fight with Crawford, then it would be worth it for Horn to take the fight. Sadly, Crawford still isn’t a PPV fighter in the U.S. His promoters at Top Rank hopes he will be someday, but right now he’s not even close to being a PPV draw. The money won’t be there for Horn to fight Crawford unless Top Rank is willing to come up with the money on their own with the help of ESPN.

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